Markwei, E. & Rasmussen, E. (2015). Everyday life information-seeking behavior of marginalized youth: a qualitative study of urban homeless youth in ghana. International Information & Library Review, 47(1-2), 11-29. doi: 10.1080/10572317.2015.1039425
This study was conducted in Accra because it is the Capitol and the largest city in Ghana. To gain the trust of participants, the field study began with volunteer work by the first author as a phonics teacher at a nursery school for children of homeless youth. Once trust was established, the participants were selected using the snowball sampling procedure. The study consisted of forty-one homeless youth, comprised of 19 females and 22 males, all between the ages of 15 to 18. Data was collected through observations and in-depth interviews. This study identified the following 11 categories of information needs: employment, acquire skills, financial management/advice, health, security, shelter, food, education, administration of justice, respect, and fair wages. These categories of needs were found to relate to basic needs following Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. However, the findings from this study is inconsistent with Maslow’s assertion that the higher level needs of self-actualization and cognition can only be pursued once the lower level needs have been met (Huitt, 2007). In this study, the participants were pursuing physiological needs, safety needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization, simultaneously. Therefore, in spite of their homelessness, these participants desired and were working toward meeting their developmental goals. Unlike many homeless youth in other parts of the world, they were on the streets primarily due to poverty and came to Accra to work and earn money to meet their personal needs and life goals.